In early 2016, the Zambian National Assembly enacted the Moveable Property (Security Interest) Act No 3 of 2016. The 2016 Act aims to permit creation of security interests in moveable property, harmonize secured transaction laws, and minimise transaction costs by improving information conditions in the lending economy.

Pursuant to Section 3 of the 2016 Act, an electronic registry for security interests is to be created and maintained.

Parties may file “financing statements” with the registry: 2016 Act, s6. These statements will be filed at the Registry, and made accessible to any parties wishing to conduct a search: 2016 Act, s9.

The 2016 Act further provides for a regime dealing with discharge and variation of financing statements.

The 2016 Act does not appear to address questions of priority or perfection outside of registration.

Whereas more reforms in the areas of priority and formalities would be desirable, the 2016 Act will likely go a long way in improving conditions for finance for small and medium enterprises in Zambia, by increasing their access to credit. By 2020, the State hopes to facilitate $2 billion in financing to firms and benefit 6,500 SMEs, 1,200 micro enterprises, and 1,200 women entrepreneurs.

The Moveable Property Security Act 2016 can be accessed here.